Smoky Sunset

sunset over St. Louis' (May 23 2015) The land lay under an heavy pall of smoke today, from dozens of forest fires burning around the province. Smoke came in through the open windows of our home, making me wonder who had a wood fire going. We weren’t burning anything, and our nearest neighbour is half a mile away.

Stepping outside, I saw that the smoke extended as far as I could see. Even when the sun was shining, its rays were so weak the dandelions closed up. It wasn’t as bad as four years ago, when half the town of Slave Lake burned down… but it was smoky enough for us to feel the oppression. And it had to happen on the day the black poplars started “snowing” their fluffy blossoms, which are pretty, but not so good for the allergies.

Just before sunset, Ian and I took a short drive to the river. Northern Alberta sunsets are usually dominated by pastel pink, mauve, or peach. The sky was just as pretty, and no more spectacular, than usual tonight. But the sun!! We were stunned to see a huge brilliant red ball nearing the horizon in the northwest. We stopped to take a picture of the sun setting over our neighbours’ farm.

I wish I had a better camera. My iPad takes great pictures in the daytime, but loses detail and contrast in the fading evening light. But if you click on the photo you will see it full size. Imagine the sun almost twice the size it appears in the photo — and brilliant red! Even oppressive smoke has its silver lining, so to speak.

There’s a lesson in this for me. No matter how humdrum my life seems to be, and no matter what challenges I am facing, there is ALWAYS beauty around me. All I have to do is look for it.

It reminds me of a wonderful little book that came my way when my two oldest were babies… Musings of a Mother, by Doris Aldrich. With six children under seven, and several more to follow in the next few years, you can imagine how busy and hectic her life was. She had no servants, and did all her work herself. She could easily have caved under the pressure. Instead, she wrote stories about their daily life, and the little lessons learned, not only by the children, but by herself. Everyday events became adventures, and memories to treasure. She wrote the book in 1949; I received it in 1985; and I treasure it still today.

Musings of a Mother… a brilliant red sun in the smoky haze… Beauty in unexpected places.

© Willena Flewelling


  1. Love your comment about beauty is all around you. That is so true and your sunset picture is great.
    Thanks Andy
    Andy Lockhart recently posted…Review of the Instagram Layout AppMy Profile

  2. Hi Willena,

    Beautiful picture. I love sunset pictures. You are right about even in the toughest of times, we can find beauty around us if we look for it. Most of the time it’s right in front of you presenting itself but unless you are open to see it; you won’t.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome pictures and post.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…What Is Your Earning Motivator?My Profile

  3. Thankyou for this. I have had a rather bad day at work. But when I saw this it gave me a nice smile. The beauties of this world are for all of us to see.

    Andrew 🙂
    Andrew Fila recently posted…This Weeks Boxing Notes : Bankruptcy, Russia And More.My Profile

  4. Hi Willena,

    What a wonderful reminder that we always have a choice to see gloom or beauty. They both exist all the time, and are always side by side.

    It’s our choice, our discovery.

    Donna Merrill recently posted…The Internet Marketer LifestyleMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge